"There are no results without a concentration of resources." - Peter Drucker
Eleven years ago, I stepped into an experiment of coaching and consulting church leaders. At the start, the greatest obstacle to my work was the ubiquity of the capital campaign consulting industry for churches. Many pastors I met had bad experiences with raising funds. Others had decent experiences but vowed never to bring in a campaign consultant again. Frankly, I didn't want to associate myself with the industry in any way. But people told me I would have no choice.
People told me that I would not be able to do "vision" consulting. They told me that "vision" was too intangible. They told me it was not a "felt need." They told me that the only viable consulting window for a church is the fear of loss and the promise of gain around capital funds. I am glad they were wrong. And now, Auxano has helped hundreds of churches and thousands of leaders achieve unprecedented clarity. Now there are tools like the VisionRoom.com to keep the focus on clarity burning bright.
Six years into my consulting journey I wrote Church Unique. I was still so frustrated by the fundraising industry, I wrote a scathing critique of how capital campaign consultants typically undermine vision in the name of "vision." The chapter is entitled "Vision Quacks." Right before the book hit the presses, I pulled the chapter. Why? I did know some incredible people in the generosity arena, and felt the chapter would mischaracterize their work. To be specific I have admired the work of Generis in general and Jim Sheppard, Brad Leeper and Chris Willard in particular.
It's actually pretty fun having the "missing chapter" now. If you want to read, just leave a comment and I will e-mail it to you.
WHY CAMPAIGNS AND WHY NOW?
Campaign: a systematic course of aggressive activities for some specific purpose
Rallying people to a better future is not new. Building leaders and directing energy is baseline to the human enterprise. But the church is still the HARDEST PLACE ON PLANET EARTH to focus. Whether it's a breakout of congregational opinions, the rampant "sin of niceness" or a plague of risk aversion, getting the vision done is more fantasy than testimony.
Since we know the church and love the church we feel we must act. We have more stories of vision clarity process work than any one ministry group in North America. We think these are great days for the mission of Jesus in the world and we think that unique vision is becoming the new normal. (Yes, church cloning conferences are officially out of vogue.)
But great rallying is not normal. Sustained focus is rarely felt. So we are launching Auxano Campaigns. It's an onsite experience that will help you take the next mountaintop and advance the next milestone. In Church Unique we call this Vision Proper. We have always helped you answer the question "Where is God taking you?" Now we will help you navigate every step of making one leadership dream a highly visible goal and total congregational reality.
Could that be fundraising? Absolutely! Could that be prayer, or missional living, or a culture of acceptance or a radical impact project in the community? You bet. Go ahead and dream about your entire church joyfully advancing the specific purpose that God has just for you. What would that look like? How could God work?
If you would like to learn more about our campaign initiative I would love to start a conversation.